Travellers prefer Kerala’s backwaters a shade more than the venerable Taj Mahal, according to a survey by National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations, is a pointer to the huge attraction the State holds for the globe-trotter.
Opportunities in tourism sector
Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. This tropical paradise enjoys a unique topography with Arabian Sea, a part of the Indian Ocean on the west and the Western Ghats on the east. This travellers’ paradise exudes in holidaying options: bewitching beaches, exotic hill stations, vibrant wildlife, serene backwaters and colourful festivals.
The tourism sector offers unprecedented developmental potency in different categories of the sector. The demand for health resorts, theme holidays and tour packages are on a rise. There has been a great increase in the influx of international and domestic tourist to the state to experience the many wonders of the land, in the recent years. Total Revenue (including direct & indirect) from Tourism during 2013 is Rs. 22,926.55 crores, showing an increase of 12.22% over the last year’s figure.
In hotels/resorts: With the emergence of Kerala as the most preferred holiday destination for domestic and foreign tourists, the demand for world-class accommodation too is on the rise. Hotels classified by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, will be eligible for claiming 10 per cent State investment subsidy subject to a maximum of Rs. 10 lakh. Restaurants approved by the Department of Tourism will be eligible for claiming 10% state investment subsidy subject to a maximum of Rs.10 lakhs. The duly filled application form in the prescribed format available at the Department of Tourism along with application fee, prescribed clearances, NOCs, certificates etc. should be sent to the Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala.
Houseboats: Backwater holidays of Kerala, one of the major attractions are increasingly becoming popular among tourists. Cruising through the intricate web of rivers, lagoons, canals and lakes is the best way to catch glimpses of the beauty of Kerala and has been attracting hordes of visitors. Incentives: Houseboats approved by the Department of Tourism under this scheme will be eligible for claiming 10 per cent State investment subsidy subject to a maximum of Rs. 10 lakh.
Farm tourism: Kerala has tremendous potential for developing Farm Tourism in a big way without much additional investment. As a step towards this, Kerala Tourism has launched Green Farms Kerala, an exclusive venture that aims at preparing the farms/plantations in the State to receive tourists.
Incentives: An incentive to the tune of 25% for the additional specified facilities targeting exclusively at the tourists, subject to a maximum of Rs. 5.00 lakh. Subsidy will be given to the units only after the completion of the project and approval by a committee. Kerala Tourism will facilitate the farm/plantation owners in getting loans from commercial banks at the lowest rate. All units under Green Farms Kerala will be marketed by Kerala Tourism through the perfect mix of restaurants, mini shopping and be promoted through the Kerala Tourism website as well as the tourism trade fairs and road shows organised by the Department of Tourism from time to time.
Homestays:A concept that captures the essence of Kerala hospitality, Homestays give the visitors the feel of home miles away from home. Now a day’s visitors are opting for homestays as it gives the opportunity to be as close to the destination as possible.
Project requirements are the rooms should have a capacity ranging from 2 to 6 beds. There must be adequate sanitary fittings like lavatories/bathrooms with running water in each room. Rooms shall be properly ventilated, furnished and lighted. Fans or air conditioners shall be provided in all rooms. Minimum carpet area standards prescribed for bath/bedrooms shall be 50 sq.ft. per bed.
MICE tourism: Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) mice is a high growth tourism segment in which large groups, usually planned in advance, are brought together for some particular purpose. Cochin is a forerunner in the area of MICE tourism.